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Pediatric Transplant Care

After Pediatric Liver Transplant Care

Look forward to a better quality of life for your child after a liver transplant at University Health Transplant Institute. Expect gradual improvements in physical and mental health that lead to an active childhood and life.

Liver Transplant Patient Results

Team up with University Health to get the best possible transplant outcome for your child. Our Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) data reveal that we have outstanding patient outcomes for pediatric liver transplants.

Recovery After Surgery

After transplantation, your child will stay in a recovery room until they wake up. Then your child will move to our pediatric transplant intensive care unit (PICU). Our PICU team will monitor your child’s bladder and lung functions closely after the operation. We will ensure your child stays comfortable while looking for signs of post-surgery complications.

Preventing Liver Rejection

Rejection is the body’s normal reaction to something foreign, like your child’s new liver. You will appreciate the steps our transplant care team takes to prevent liver rejection. They watch for signs and give your child anti-rejection medications (called immunosuppressants). Your child will have to take this medication every day.

Your Child’s Hospital Care

After the transplant, your multidisciplinary team of specialists will:

  • Meet daily to discuss your child’s care
  • Visit your child each weekday
  • Answer questions about your child’s health and recovery
  • Help your child recover as quickly and safely as possible

How Long Is the Hospital Stay After Liver Transplant?

Ask your doctors how long your child will recover in the hospital. The average hospital stay for an uncomplicated pediatric liver transplant is about two weeks.

Thorough Family & Patient Education

The transplant care team will teach you and your child about home and follow-up care before leaving the hospital. You’ll learn about:

  • Care for your child and managing overall health at home
    • Eating healthy foods
    • Short- and long-term activity restrictions
    • Watching for signs of rejection
  • Each medication your child is taking, its side effects, and how important it is to take even when your child is feeling well
  • Follow-up visits to the Transplant Clinic
  • Frequency of lab draws to check your child’s newly transplanted organ
  • How to manage life after transplant

Post-Transplant Medications

Learn how medications help your child after a liver transplant. Taking medications as prescribed is one of the most important things you can help your child do. Medications help:

  • Control fluid levels and high blood pressure
  • Prevent bacterial, fungal and viral infections
  • Protect against liver rejection
  • Stop stomach ulcers

You will get a transplant education book to guide your family through the hospital stay and after transplant care.

Moving to Follow-Up Care After Liver Transplant

A successful liver transplant and recovery go beyond surgery and the hospital stay. Your child will need to attend follow-up appointments twice a week for the first two weeks at the Pediatric Transplant Clinic.

Your child’s doctor will do follow-up testing to make sure the liver works with no complications. Your clinic visits will gradually spread out.

Transplant Outreach Clinics

If you live outside of San Antonio, it may be hard to get to follow-up appointments. Check with your transplant team to see if you can go to a University Health transplant outreach clinic closer to home.

We have clinics in the South Texas cities of El Paso  and Laredo. Ask if telehealth follow-up care is available.

Transitioning to Life After Liver Transplant

When you plan for your child’s recovery at home, it leads to less stress and fewer unexpected problems for your family. Depending on your child’s age, you may face different physical and mental recovery challenges. Ask your social worker at University Health for guidance.

Follow your transplant doctor’s instructions about when your child can return to school and participate in other age-appropriate activities.

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